I have written before about Agape Boarding school and the great people that help young boys with a little trouble through the horse and God.
When I was there last year I spent a lot of time learning from and being inspired by a cowboy in the truest form from a skill standpoint, try standpoint and a spiritual standpoint.
Tim Mulloy has some rare disease that is taking parts of his body. He had one leg missing when I was there last year and was still getting horseback and working and getting lots done. I just found out they have to take his other leg.
They are doing a fundraiser for Tim and this saddle is being donated.
I have more to add to this story.
Several years ago I was at an event where there lots of saddle makers and artists. If you know anything about western saddle makers in the west Dale en he Harwood is one very well known and respected saddlemaker. I couldn’t afford one of his saddles and didn’t want to wait the 6 years on the waiting list, but I always wanted one. Dale and his wife Karen were at the deal and when I got introduced I told Dale how good it was to meet him. He said he new me when I was a little kid.
My grandfather worked at a big feedlot in Roberts, Idaho and when he went to town he would stop and visit Dale at the saddle shop. I remember going in there and hanging out, but I didn’t realize it was his “Trails End” saddle shop.
That brought back memories and made me want a “Harwood” even more.
As the story continues I was doing clinics in the Kansas City area and I met a fellow by the name of Tim Trabon. We hit it off for some reason, and I tell you he truly was the most interesting man I have ever met.(and I have met a lot of interesting men)
Through the years when I would go to the area I would ride his horses and use his gear. He was a great collector of good gear and had the best. He new the story and my desire to have a Harwood and always wanted me to ride a wonderful full carved slick fork that fit me just right, when I was there. He would just leave the stirrups long and not ride it so I could use it the next time.
We had so much fun and I really enjoyed spending time with Tim and his wife Patty and their boys. They were people that had done very well in life and really lived.
Tim got cancer, spent lots of months in Houston fighting it and getting the most out of life even then. He wrote me this note one day.
I’m getting real tired of storing that Harwood saddle of yours in my tack room
Takes up space and I feel the need to clean it up.
I thought you were more of a responsible guy.
When I get home in February, I’m gonna ship it to you.
Tired of looking at it
I told him no, that I would come ride with him when he got home and we would discuss it. He agreed and I was so much looking forward to riding with my real good friend.
I can’t tell you how many acts of kindness I’ve seen from Tim, but how much crap and guff he could give to his friends. He was the best storyteller I’ve ever heard (and I’ve heard some good storytellers.)
My friend Tim died. It really never hit me until I went to visit the family long after his death. To go his home and family and him not there it really hit me. I was very sad. The reason I was there is his wife Patty had read the email that Tim had sent giving me the saddle and she wanted me to have it.
So I now have a full carved Harwood that means so much to me. Every time I put it on a horse, I have a piece of my memory of my childhood with my grandfather, know I am riding a saddle by a real legendary craftsman that has been an inspiration to lots of folks I know that build saddles, and when I pull up my cinch it always brings me back to a “Tim” story and sometimes I look at the spur tracks he left in the seat. Tim had more buck off story’s than anyone I know,(and I’ve herd a lot of buck off story’s)or think of his hunting bear with a black powder rifle, or how much he loved his family and life and the pride he had in both. My friend is with me every time I throw my leg over that saddle.
So that’s the start to my saddle stories. I was going to go about it a little differently than I did, but when the Harwood for Tim’s benefit came up it got my emotions going. If you need a good saddle that will only gain in value while you ride a great one, check out the benefit for Tim Mulloy.
Contact Riley Olson by email. Here’s his email. I’m sure you can find him on Facebook as well.